Ripon Police broke up a suspected mail theft ring thanks to a call from a grocery store about a suspicious check presented by a customer that subsequently led to 1,100 pieces of stolen mail from Manteca and Elk Grove.
Ripon Lt. Steve Merchant said two officers were dispatched Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. to the Save Mart Market in the 1500 block of West Colony Road for a suspected forged check. The reporting party was able to provide a detailed description of the three suspects and their vehicle – a white, 2017 GMC U-Haul truck as well as their license plate number.
Officers Jared Heuvel and Alex Contreras located the vehicle in the Love’s Truck Stop parking lot across the street from the market just east of Highway 99 and Jack Tone Road.
Merchant said one of the suspects was found to be on searchable probation and another occupant in the vehicle had allegedly provided false information to a police officer. The final suspect had an outstanding felony warrant for her arrest. While speaking to the occupants of the U-Haul truck the officers determined the trio could be involved in the theft of mail.
The Ripon officers then discovered the stolen mail apparently taken from Manteca and Elk Grove residents. Stolen property, stolen credit cards and ID theft indicia — postage markings used instead of stamps —was also discovered in their truck. Ripon Special Investigation Unit detectives Richard Francis and Paul Staley were called to take part in the investigation. They subsequently called U.S. Postal Inspectors to assist in the case.
Jeanne Macias Mendoza, 43 of Stockton was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges that included conspiracy, unlawful use of personal ID, providing a false ID to a police officer, altering forged driver’s licenses, possession of ID to commit forgery, forgery/false checks, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia and possession of stolen property.
Lom Van Nguyen, 41, of Stockton, was also booked into the San Joaquin County Jail charged with conspiracy, unlawful use of personal ID, misappropriation of found property, altering forged drivers’ licenses, providing false ID to a police officer and possession of stolen property.
Kim Kollete Matsuno, 45, of Stockton was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges that included conspiracy, unlawful use of personal ID and possession of stolen property.
Ripon detectives are now working with nearby law enforcement agencies in an effort to identify additional victims of mail and ID theft in the region. Lt. Merchant said that a total of 1,100 pieces of evidence was seized in the case.
Crime scene technician Liz Forks is assisting detectives with the evidence collection and processing due to the sheer number of items involved in the case, Merchant added.
“If you believe you have been a victim of mail or ID theft, please call your local law enforcement agency and make a report. This will aid in the prosecution of the persons involved,” the lieutenant said.
Mendoza and Matsuno are scheduled to appear in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Jail today at 1:30 p.m. Mendoza is reportedly being held without bail and Matsuno’s bail is set at $153,000. Nguyen was not included as being in custody on the Sheriff’s website Thursday night.